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Battleship Jean Bart 1:1 Scale Richelieu class

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Level 73 : Legendary Dragon
Jean Bart was a French fast battleship, the second and final member of the Richelieu class. Built as a response to the Italian Littorio class, the Richelieus were based on their immediate predecessors of the Dunkerque class with the same unconventional arrangement that grouped their main battery forward in two quadruple gun turrets. They were scaled up to accommodate a much more powerful main battery of eight 380 mm (15 in) guns (compared to the 330 mm (13 in) guns of the Dunkerques), with increased armor to protect them from guns of the same caliber. Jean Bart was laid down in 1936 and was launched in 1940, following the outbreak of World War II in Europe. The ship was not complete by the time Germany won the Battle of France, and Jean Bart was rushed to Casablanca to escape advancing German troops. She had only one of her main turrets installed, along with a handful of anti-aircraft guns.

While in Casablanca, the French attempted to prepare the ship for action as much as was possible in light of limited infrastructure and the necessary parts to complete the vessel. Her anti-aircraft armament was slowly strengthened as guns became available and a search radar was fitted in 1942. In November, American and British forces invaded French North Africa in Operation Torch; Jean Bart initially helped to resist the attack, engaging in a gunnery duel with the battleship USS Massachusetts before being badly damaged by American dive bombers. Following the defection of French forces in the region to the Allied side, the French attempted to have the ship completed in the United States, but the requests came to nothing as the US Navy had no interest in the project. Jean Bart was accordingly repaired as much as possible in Casablanca, thereafter spending the rest of the war as a training ship there.

In 1945, discussions as to the fate of the ship considered converting her into an aircraft carrier, finishing her as a battleship, or discarding her altogether. The decision was ultimately made to finish her as a battleship, a process that took several years. Most work on the ship was completed by 1955, when she formally entered active service, and she conducted two overseas cruises to visit Denmark and the United States shortly thereafter. She took part in the French intervention in the Suez Crisis in November 1956, including a brief four-shot bombardment of Port Said. Reduced to reserve in August 1957, she was used as a barracks ship until 1961. She remained, unused, in the French Navy's inventory until 1970 when she was struck from the naval register and sold for scrap.
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